The one thing I never tire of while living in
is hearing the interesting wildlife stories I get from area locals...
I’ve heard an incredible story about a pregnant “dead” snake that gave live birth to a batch of “snakelets” in my good friend’s driveway.
And I’ve heard a bizarre tale of a deafening “sasquatch” scream that came in the dark hours of a frozen winter morning. And just this last weekend, I heard a crazy story of a plate of cookies and a yardful of hungry bears.
I was sitting on the lawn at a friend’s party watching my girls bounce all their energy out on a trampoline, when a man sat down and introduced himself. A friend of mine looked at him with a sparkle in her eye and said, “Oh, you have to tell the story about the bears.”
We gathered the children ‘round and settled ourselves in for the tale. And in the spirit of Pa Ingalls from the “Little House” books, the man began to spin his own yarn about some cookies and some bear.
Our storyteller said that long ago he knew of a neighboring man in a hunting camp who had been feeding bear.
Our teller wanted a chance to see this for himself so he asked his neighbor to call him over when the bear came around.
He soon got his phone call and headed over to his neighbor’s who met him with a plateful of cookies. “We’re going to feed the bear,” he told him. Our teller followed him out to his front yard and was shocked to find the bear waiting, all seven of them. Slowly, he followed his neighbor out into the yard and away from the safety of the house.
And together they hand-fed those wild bear the cookies.
Our storyteller’s eyes grew big when he told us his tale. “I couldn’t believe I followed him out there,” he said. “Those bear could have had me down with one swipe of a paw.” He said that he grew a bit panicky when he realized that there was no easy way back to the house. He’d allowed himself to be led into a dangerous situation and safety seemed miles away. He found himself somewhat surrounded.
Ever feel like you are surrounded by something that’s bigger than you?
Now, I know that in most cases, you won’t feel threatened by a passel of bears like our storyteller, but I think you know what I mean. The pressures, stresses, anxieties and fears of life do tend to close in on us don’t they? And sometimes, without realizing how or when it happened, we can find ourselves surrounded.
Jehoshaphat, an Old Testament king, found himself in a sticky situation when the armies of the Moabites, the Ammonites and some of the Meunites came to make war against him.
In 2 Chronicles 20 we learn that Jehoshaphat chose to deal with the situation by begging God for guidance and by fasting. Jehoshaphat chose not to focus on the problem, but on the promises of God’s protection over his people.
I can see Jehoshaphat throwing up his hands to the Almighty as he prayed in 2 Chronicles 20:12, “O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”
Jehoshaphat found himself closed in by the enemy and he chose to look up for his deliverance.
And I love the answer he got from God: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15b).
The people of Israel, though under attack, were able to move forward in confidence, knowing that God would deliver them. Full of faith, they moved into the battle the next day praising God.
God wants us to look to him in times of trouble.
Our creator knows our limitations and he wants us to turn to him when things get tough. I love this Bible story and I have prayed my share of “Jehoshaphat prayers” is my life.
Are you feeling surrounded, trapped or under attack today? You know what to do right? Follow in the footsteps of Jehoshaphat and give the battle to God.
Isaiah 59:19b King James Version
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
2 Chronicles 20:22 New International Version
As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
Isaiah 49:25 New Living Translation
But the Lord says,
“The captives of warriors will be released,
and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved.
For I will fight those who fight you,
and I will save your children.
Be blessed today with a fresh understanding of who you are in Jesus Christ!
God, give this reader the courage to dig deep into Your living Word and discover Truth for themselves. Make this seeking heart brave so it can embrace You and experience Your presence.